Electric Thermal System (ETS)

What is it like to homestead when you are in your senior years?  While I can’t speak for all senior homesteaders I can speak for myself. We homestead on 11 acres located in the mountains of  S. Colorado. We have taken our property from undeveloped land to a point where we can move around with ease but even now after 23 years of exhaustive work there seems to be as much work remaining as initially encountered. It is similar to weeding a garden, it seems after you have just finished it needs doing again.

Endless Work:

The hard work seems continuous and if we thought it would be easier as we became older we were deluding ourselves. Trees continue to fall over and each winter brings more dead limbs to the ground. Gathering them and mulching them or hauling them off is an endless task at 9,800’ elevation. Structures need to be maintained and winter damage needs repair or replacement. Run off from the 290” of snow received last winter creates washouts that need repair. More rocks work their way to the surface that need to be dealt with and so it goes ad infinitum.

Altered Work Techniques:

How does that impact a person in their senior years?  It means we work slower and much more carefully. Instead of picking up that freshly exposed rock that we could trip over we use the tractor to move it. I would not even attempt doing it like I used to do it because knees and other joints have been abused enough and are already painful. I used to split firewood by hand but now we use a mechanical splitter. In short, the work doesn’t change much but doing it needs to be approached from a different perspective - a smarter, less stressful and safer manner. What used to take a day to accomplish can now take several days.

Evaluate Tasks First:

Seniors can successfully maintain their homestead but we must do so differently and more cautiously. We may work slower but we work more efficiently. We use tools where we can as opposed to raw muscle power like we once did. We contemplate the easiest way to perform a task as opposed to rushing into the task. We don’t bundle tough physically demanding jobs together but instead spread them out over time.

6/26/2019 10:58:38 PM

Hi Bruce and Carol, This was such a nice article to read and to know that you are doing so well after the hardships you suffered with the wild fire this past year, I still love reading your newsletters after several years, and I still save them in their file labeled "Best Loved Stories". I hope you have a lovely summer with lots of photos captured on your trail cameras. Sincerely, Jennie

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